System Development and Project Management

System Development and Project Management

S.C. Lenny Koh (University of Sheffield, UK) and Stuart Maguire (University of Sheffield, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-424-8.ch008
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Abstract

Nearly all information systems developments follow a structured approach. This is true of all projects. This chapter takes a critical look at both system development and project management. The development of computer systems is a complex process, one with many opportunities for things to go wrong. To try and control this complex process, a methodology was required that would bring more discipline to the computer system development process. There was a need to make more efficient use of the resources that were available. However, the use of accepted methodologies for system development has not guaranteed the successful implementation of information systems. There are still weaknesses in the traditional methodologies. This section examines some relevant current literature regarding the system development process and identifies areas of weakness that could be improved. In the UK the National Computing Centre in Manchester defined the system development process as a number of stages. Seven were identified: feasibility study; systems investigation; systems analysis; systems design; systems development; implementation; and review and maintenance. These stages were later revised but are still generally viewed as the key elements of the computer system development process. This defines the development process as a technical one. Many methodologies that have adopted this type of approach have become grouped under the heading of ‘hard systems methodologies’. This structured approach has proved popular with IS/IT professionals since it caters for their needs as technical staff who view information system development as systematic problem-solving. It is not surprising that some authors have a narrow view of what is entailed in the system development process. Some regard it as simply structuring hardware and software to achieve effective and efficient processing of the information system.
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The majority of tools, techniques, and methodologies in the domain of IS and IT have been developed with large firms in mind. This is true of the support provided in the areas of project management, system development, risk management, benefits realisation, procurement, and the formulation of IS and IT strategies (Maguire, Koh, & Magrys 2007).

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The System Development Life Cycle

Developing information systems has always been an expensive process. Even today in the United States it is estimated that fifty percent of all capital expenditure by organizations is spent on computers and telecommunications. As a number of computer projects failed dramatically increasing attention was given to controlling the development process. It was hoped that a structured approach to development, incorporating the ‘System Development Life Cycle’ (SDLC), would lead to a more efficient control of resources.

Even though the SDLC has become a traditional method it represents a significant improvement over a variety of undisciplined earlier approaches. The System Development Life Cycle is still viewed as being appropriate for medium-to-large computer projects (Hoffer et al. 2005). It is viewed as the traditional paradigm for managing the development of information systems. Even small-scale information system projects borrow techniques from the System Development Life Cycle.

The life cycle methodology is seen as being appropriate for computer development projects that are highly structured and well-defined. The system development life cycle is linear in nature. One stage finishes, is ‘signed off’ by users, and the project team move on to the next stage. It is generally accepted that once the system is under development no changes will be made until the system is finally implemented. The literature on information systems development focuses predominantly on technical issues. Even in the 21st Century when personal computers proliferate in most organizations, the technical aspects of systems development are still seen as being of paramount importance in the overall process.

During the 1960s and 1970s computerised information systems were developed using mainframe computers. Second and third generation programming languages were used for computerised systems. This meant that technical specialists were the main influences on system development. Senior management delegated the responsibility of developing information systems to a small team of technical experts within the organization, allowing them control over the process. This system development process was often resource-intensive.

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Elias G. Carayannis
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The issues that are currently affecting all managers are similar to those facing managers of ICT. The following is a list, though not exhaustive, of... Sample PDF
Review of Current ICT Developments
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Chapter 2
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The ultimate reason why organizations develop information systems is so that their employees can make good decisions. If firms did not make... Sample PDF
Linking Information to Business Strategies and Decision-Making
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Chapter 3
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The introduction of new IS can often have a significant effect on the business practices within an organization. It is important that a lack of... Sample PDF
Developing and Implementing an ICT Strategy
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Chapter 4
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
It is important for today’s dynamic organizations to develop a strong and sustainable links with outside organizations and agencies. It may be... Sample PDF
Strategic Alliance Through the Use of ICT
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Chapter 5
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Information Systems (IS) has borrowed many techniques from other disciplines. However, many of these have been borrowed from areas where the outcome... Sample PDF
Planning and Managing ICT Change
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Chapter 6
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The reason for going ahead with a new information system (IS) development can come from many sources. A new business requirement may force an... Sample PDF
Identifying Opportunities for Using ICT
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Chapter 7
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The development of information systems (IS) has for many years been regarded as the domain of the technical expert. In what appears to be a growing... Sample PDF
Introduction to Current Techniques for Effective ICT Development
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Chapter 8
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Nearly all information systems developments follow a structured approach. This is true of all projects. This chapter takes a critical look at both... Sample PDF
System Development and Project Management
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Chapter 9
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
If organizations were good at ICT planning there would not be as many information systems failures. There is a definite need for improved... Sample PDF
Critical Success Factors for ICT Development
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Chapter 10
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
For many organizations, the implementation of a new information system (IS) may be the biggest capital expenditure they undertake. If substantial... Sample PDF
Impediments to the Successful Implementation of ICT
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Chapter 11
Learning From Failures  (pages 176-206)
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Strategic.failures can be defined as failures of achieving the expected benefits from the organizational, size and industrial sectors or countries’... Sample PDF
Learning From Failures
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Chapter 12
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The Internet Cultural Era (ICE) has driven many Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and Ghana to adopt ICT technology. This... Sample PDF
Drivers and Barriers for ICT Development
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Chapter 13
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Although Boeing and Rolls-Royce are operating in the same aerospace industry sector and use ERP, but the ways that they implemented their systems... Sample PDF
Current Developments and Diffusions in ICT: ERP, SCM, CRM
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Chapter 14
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Globalisation, modernisation and streamlining paradigms have driven many enterprises to use various e-Technologies in order to improve the... Sample PDF
E-Technology: E-Business, Intranet, Extranet, Internet
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Chapter 15
Knowledge Management  (pages 285-296)
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Knowledge.Management can be defined as the critical issues of organisational adaptation, survival and competence against discontinuous environmental... Sample PDF
Knowledge Management
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Chapter 16
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
In information terms, security can be defined as the processes of ensuring that private information remains private and uncompromised in an... Sample PDF
Security and Risk Management
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Chapter 17
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Commercial airlines face an extremely challenging operating and competitive environment. To remain in business they must comply with ever-changing... Sample PDF
Improving IT-Enabled Sense and Respond Capabilities: An Application of Business Activity Monitoring at Southern International Airlines
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Chapter 18
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
This case describes how banking in India has changed after developments in information technology in the last decade. The new private and foreign... Sample PDF
Competing in the Age of Information Technology in a Developing Economy: Experiences of an Indian Bank
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Chapter 19
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 opened competition in the telecommunications market in the U.S. and forced the incumbent telecommunications... Sample PDF
Developing a Telecommunication Operation Support Systems (OSS): The Impact of a Change in Network Technology
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Chapter 20
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
Nazar Group of Companies has been a leading producer and distributor of cookies, crackers, cakes, chocolate, and other products in Turkey for more... Sample PDF
Nazar Foods Company: Business Process Redesign Under Supply Chain Management Context
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Chapter 21
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
The TeleDoc project of Jivan Institute has combined mobile commerce and the ancient concepts of Ayurveda for treatment of rural residents of India... Sample PDF
The Expansion Plan of TeleDoc: What and How Much of the Technology Employed is to Change?
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Chapter 22
S.C. Lenny Koh, Stuart Maguire
E-government is becoming a reality rather than a theoretical ambition; however, achieving the e-government anticipated benefits is still illusive... Sample PDF
Process-Aware E-Government Services Management: Reconciling Citizen Business, and Technology Dynamics
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About the Authors